Sunday, January 17, 2021

Happy Legend --- Days 9/270 & 271

Walk: 1. Presidio Pickleball  2. Hood stroll

Distance: 1. 2.5 miles, 90 minutes pickle 2. 2.5 miles, yoga

Bob Ross shows us how on The Joy of Painting

Over the years, when people learn that Ciwt writes about art, a common reaction has been "Oh, you must be artistic."  Same was true when she sold art.  

Wrong, in both cases. Artists make paintings among other things, and only a small part of her questions exactly how they do that.  To her the artist figures it out, just like someone in Silicon Valley figures out how to make the computer she's now typing on.  It's like there is a Mona Lisa brush that Leonardo da Vinci dipped into his paint can, and when he slid it along the canvas, voila, a masterpiece 


Not really, but most of what she knew was from books until she began spending her covid lockdown hours on PBS with Bob Ross.  What a revelation!  And what a nice and delightful man to explain how painting is really done on The Joy of Painting, the show he created and hosted.  It came onto PBS in 1983 and the last original episode was actually aired in 1994.  Then the internet gave it new life and today people are flocking to it.

Very few to learn to paint (less than 10 percent of viewers including Ciwt ever painted along with Ross), some like Ciwt to get an education in how paintings are actually made, and virtually all to spend time with Bob Ross.  He is encouraging, soothing, comforting and self described "happy."  One of his great expressions is "Let's add a few happy little trees..." or clouds or happy waves and birds. He's been described as 'liquid tranquilizer."

Ross died in 1995, but, as PBS continues to air The Joy of Painting,  Ross's stardom continues to grow.  There are Bob Ross clubs, tee shirts with his image and sayings, internet memes, Lego figures, Halloween costumes and cartoons. Despite his international following, Ross was as private a person as he could arrange and there are very few substantiated biographical facts about him.  But that hasn't slowed his fans from narratives recorded in fanzines, posts on message boards, tribute pages, obituaries, feature stores, (or this CIWT post).  The lack of vetted information has actually raised  every day, low key, salt of the earth Bob Ross to legend level, happy legend level to be sure.

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